There have recently been some serious threats to the Galapagos Islands including the severe risk that a huge international fishing fleet, many Chinese, on the edge of Galapagos Marine Reserve posed and the imminent threat from the invasive fly, Philornis downsi. We need your help – will you help us keep the wildlife of Galapagos safe from threats like these?
Thanks to the unwavering resolve from our supporters this year, we were able to fund a research trip for Jonathan Green, founder of Galapagos Whale Shark Project (GWSP), and his team in August. They tagged ten more whale sharks and two, Coco and Nemo, have already made history. In September, Coco was the first tagged whale shark to follow the swimway between Galapagos and Cocos Island in Costa Rica. More recently, Nemo returned to Galapagos 80 days after first being recorded at Darwin island. She is the first recorded whale shark to travel from Galapagos, leave the Exclusive Economic Zone, move along the proposed Galapagos-Cocos swimway and then back to Galapagos. The team estimate Nemo travelled 1600km on her epic journey back to the safety of Galapagos Marine Reserve highlighting the importance of protecting areas like the swimway.
Yolanda Kakabadse, ex-Minister of Environment for Ecuador and former President of WWF International, joined our Galapagos Day 2020 panel in October. She is currently working on the Ecuadorian government’s new ‘ocean protection strategy’ for the Galapagos Islands. Ecuador is calling for more protection for its marine areas. The government passed new legislation in June to protect even more sharks in their waters and signed up to the Global Oceans Alliance which calls for 30% of the world’s oceans to be protected by 2030.
The serious threat of the international fishing fleet outside the Galapagos Marine Reserve hasn’t disappeared. However, due to a voluntary fishing moratorium by China around the waters of the Galapagos Archipelago between September and November, the imminent threat has reduced temporarily. Yolanda highlighted to us the unsustainable nature of the international industrial fisheries so near to Galapagos and Ecuador’s Exclusive Economic Zone, and that there are issues with fully understanding to what extent the activities that these vessels, supposedly squid fishing, are undertaking. She stressed the need for increased protection for wildlife in Ecuador’s waters, such as the proposed Galapagos-Cocos swimway, and a call for the expansion of the Galapagos Marine Reserve.
Will you help us to collect the evidence needed to expand the protection for marine life around the Galapagos Islands?
The mangrove finch population in Galapagos is in a critical condition – there are only 100 mangrove finches left in the world. After the Mangrove Finch Project team had to leave the field abruptly in March this year, it is unlikely that any of the chicks survived their battle with the invasive fly, Philornis downsi. The team are currently preparing for 2021’s breeding season. It is more important than ever that they are able to achieve as much as possible to keep the next generation of hatchlings alive.
Will you help us get Francesca and her team out into the field to protect the chicks in the next nesting season?
- £40 could allow scientists to analyse the genetics of a juvenile shark in Galapagos, allowing us to understand how and where sharks breed.
- £75 could fund a field research assistant for a day to help protect critically endangered mangrove finch chicks from the threat of Philornis downsi.
- £100 could support the injection of mangrove finch nests with insecticide, increasing the chicks’ chances of survival.
- £1,500 could fund two acoustic tags for endangered migratory sharks, contributing to the evidence needed to protect their migration routes.
|Your donations will support projects with the most urgent needs in the Galapagos Islands